For many people, they have experienced dry mouth on the blue moon. It is most likely caused by dehydration, drinking too much beer, or just sleeping with your mouth open.
Unfortunately, for others, dry mouth is a long-term problem and can cause problems in daily life. In addition to physical side effects, it may also greatly reduce people’s confidence in social situations, so that eating and speaking in public becomes uneasy.
To help you learn more about dry mouth, here are some facts about the disease and our best advice for managing it.
Top ten facts about dry mouth:
- Dry mouth or “xerostomia” is a disease that affects the flow of saliva and causes dry mouth.
- Your mouth needs saliva to work properly. Saliva keeps your mouth moist and helps break down food and swallow. It can also act as a cleanser and neutralize plaque acid. It will constantly wash your mouth and around your teeth to prevent tooth decay and help keep your teeth clean.
- Less saliva will also affect the taste of food, making dry food more unpalatable. Sometimes it affects your speech and makes people more likely to have bad breath.
- Usually, there is less saliva from the dry mouth at night than during the day, so dry mouth usually gets worse.
- Dry mouth can cause your mouth to become sore and there is a higher risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
- There are many reasons behind this: it may be caused by old age, or it is usually a side effect of medication-especially pills for heart, blood pressure, and depression. Your doctor, pharmacist, or dental team should be able to tell you if your medicine is causing problems.
- In some cases, dry mouth may be a direct result of medical conditions such as diabetes, lupus, Sjogren’s syndrome, and salivary gland blockage.
- Women are more likely to suffer from chronic dry mouth than men.
- Studies have shown that people with chronic dry mouth are also at higher risk of mental health disorders and social anxiety.
- Although there are products that relieve symptoms, there is currently no practical way to prevent the problem.
Top five tips:
- Make sure you visit the dentist regularly-people with dry mouths are at higher risk of tooth decay and gum disease and worsen faster than usual. Therefore, it is important to visit your dental team regularly.
- It is important to use fluoride toothpaste with a fluoride content of at least 1350 to 1500 ppm. Please note that some products contain sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), and some people with a dry mouth will find this can irritate the mouth and make the condition worse.
- There are many products designed to help keep your mouth moist and comfortable. These are usually gels or sprays. Some contain additional ingredients that help prevent tooth and gum problems. There are also special products that can help your daily oral hygiene such as toothpaste and mouthwash.
- Chewing sugarless gum can help relieve dry mouth because it encourages saliva in your mouth. Your dental team may recommend products that you can get from a pharmacist, such as douches, gels, pastes, and lozenges.
- Some people have found that drinking water or sucking sugar-free candies can help in the short term. It is very important to use sugar-free products because a dry mouth can make you more prone to tooth decay.